Christian Drouin 10 ans d’âge Rhum JM Angels – Calvados Pays d’Auge & Fort Rouillé

There are some weird bottles out there where I know at first glance that I will love them. At the very least, they trigger a very delighted anticipation. Delighted because I’m really pleased that someone has made something so unusual in the first place – but of course, in the end it’s just an expectation that can be disappointed. Fortunately, that didn’t happen today – quite the opposite. (provided test product*)

So, I’ve made it clear from the outset that the bottling I’m reviewing today is very much to my taste. In this respect, it is of course more than sensible to first explain what kind of product we are talking about. The bottle has the illustrious name Christian Drouin 10 ans d’âge Rhum JM Angels – Calvados Pays d’Auge. It is a Calvados from the Christian Drouin Expérimental series, in which rather unusual bottlings are released. What is unusual about this Calvados? Well, the name already gives it away: it has been matured for a total of ten years (which is quite an impressive age for a Calvados), the last eight and a half months of which were spent in a former Rhum Agricole casks from the house of J.M.

This means that two strictly regulated French distillates (Rhum J.M is produced in the French overseas department of Martinique) are virtually “involved” in this bottling.

If the name Christian Drouin sounds familiar, you may have already come across the Le Gin de Christian Drouin Calvados Cask Finish here on the blog. Although this is not from the Expérimental series, it has been matured in former Calvados casks – which is not exactly typical for a reserved gin.

With today’s bottle, however, we are dealing with a real Calvados. And therefore, also the actual house spirit of Christian Drouin, as the third generation in Normandy mainly produces the matured apple brandy. If you would like to find out more about Calvados in general, you can also read a little more about the basics in this article.

In any case, the Christian Drouin 10 ans d’âge Rhum JM Angels – Calvados Pays d’Auge is bottled at a promising ABV of 46.5%. But what does a ten-year-old Calvados matured in a rhum agricole cask taste like?

Tasting notes:

Aroma: A very nice aroma rises up to the nose: fine, clear vanilla paired with freshly cut apple wood and overripe, cooked apples and apricot tones. I am reminded of a spicy compote. Associations of chamomile and summer meadows, followed by some cinnamon and nutmeg, a hint of baked bread, but also complex notes of oak wood.

Taste: Oh yes, while I was still wondering a little on the nose where the rhum cask was, there is no doubt on the palate: woody-spicy notes of rhum agricole harmonize fantastically with notes of apples, again a pronounced vanilla, diffuse spicy and herbal tones, associations of chamomile tea, but also oak and fruit. There’s an incredible amount going on here, and in a combination that I’ve never tasted before. I really like it!

Finish: pleasantly long with notes of apple wood, apple peel and oak

A really great cavlados! Can or should you mix cocktails with it? Absolutely!

And with such a beautiful and very expressive Calvados, I decided on a variation of the Toronto cocktail, which is still one of my favorite drinks. I modified the drink a little here and there and called it Fort Rouillé, which is the name of a fort founded by French merchants in 1750 in what is now Toronto.

Recipe “Fort Rouillé“:

4.5 cl Christian Drouin 10 ans d’âge Rhum JM Angels – Calvados Pays d’Auge
1.5 cl Rye Whiskey
0.75 cl Fernet
1 bar spoon maple syrup (grade b)
2 dashes Élixir Végétal de la Grande Chartreuse

Preparation: Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice until cold, strain into a glass and sprinkle with the oil from an orange zest.

Glass: Coupette

Garnish: Orange zest

Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online

*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.


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